For someone who played and loved sports as a child, I never really liked my P.E. classes. P.E. classes never seemed like real sports. Apparently, I am not alone. In an article titled “Student Activity Levels During a Season of Sport Education,” Peter A. Hastie and Stewart G. Trost write (Pediatric Exercise Science, 2002):
Sidentop has suggested that most sport within physical education rarely reproduces those features of sport that lead to its attractiveness, resulting in student claims of irrelevancy and boredom.
In the paper, the intervention measures the effectiveness of using a more sport or team-oriented approach to physical education which Sidentop called Sport Education; essentially imagining the block of time devoted to one sport as a mini-season. The intervention found that Sport Education can produce sufficient levels of moderate-vigorous activity, while not discriminating against lower-skilled players.
The Playmakers Basketball Development League offers an ideal Sport Education curriculum for the basketball lesson of a physical education class. The PBDL addresses the difficulties of playing basketball in a small gym with a large class and prevents numerous players from sitting out at any time. The PBDL teaches basic skills using a game-play model, enabling beginners and experienced players to play the game together.
If a physical education teacher uses a block practice instruction model for basketball, the teacher may focus on a simple skill like lay-ups or dribbling the basketball on the first day, but knowledge of lay-ups does not enable one to play a game or join confidently into a scrimmage. However, through a game-play model like the PBDL, beginners learn new skills like dribbling the basketball and making lay-ups while engaged in actual game-like play.
A P.E. teacher has two goals: (1) increase physical activity (fitness) and (2) teach/develop sport-skills. The concept of Sport Education enables instructors to meet these goals simultaneously, and the Playmakers Basketball Development League is a planned, organized six-week curriculum that uses the same ideas as Sport Education as a means for player development, learning and fun with youth basketball players.
By Brian McCormick
Author, Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League